Highlights In Today's Reading:
Preaching Jesus, Paul challenges the Greek worship of idols (17:16-17), false gods and philosophers (17:18-34). He leaves Greece and begins 3rd mission trip, sailing for Ephesus (present day Turkey) and Syria (chap. 19). After 2 years of Godly influence (19:10), wicked influences rise up and cause a riot (19:21-41)!
At the synagogue in Thessalonica, Paul, as his manner was . . . reasoned with them out of the Scriptures, Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs (had to) have suffered, and risen again from the dead. . . . And some of them believed (17:2-4). When the unbelieving Jewish leaders heard this, they created a riot.
Following a failed attempt to assault him, Paul traveled south to Berea. The Berean Jews were commended for being more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed (17:11-12). After searching the Scriptures, the Berean Jews believed that Jesus was their Messiah. This should encourage everyone to diligently study all Scripture with a sincere desire to know all the facts. One cannot continue to read through the Bible without getting a deeper conviction of the unity of the entire Book. It was written by One Creator/Author through over 40 human authors over a period of 1500 years. We marvel at how each book is arranged exactly where it needs to be in order to portray His perfect plan and purpose for our lives.
As we continue searching the Scriptures, Christ is revealed beginning with the first prophecy of Him in Genesis 3:15; on through the five Books of Moses, the Psalms, and the Prophets. Then His life, death, resurrection, ascension, and second coming are recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. We too will be convinced that Jesus was Christ (Acts 18:28).
With only one brief lifetime and no shortcuts to spiritual maturity, the Creator has provided one Book revealing what He expects us to know to be the person we need to be in order to accomplish the purpose for which He has created us.
Think how tragic it would be to fall short of fulfilling the will of God — wasting our few short years achieving material, social, and financial goals for self-gratification — but failing to achieve the purpose for which He created us.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth (II Tim. 2:15).
Thought for Today:
In God I will praise His Word, in God I have put my trust (Ps. 56:4).
For Acts 17:31: See Ps. 96:13; 98:9.
17:19 Areopagus =b> the Athenian council which met on Mars Hill; 17:29 Godhead =b> the Trinity — God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.
Pray for Government Officials: Gov. Bill Richardson (NM) and Rep. Ellen Tauscher (CA) • Country: Libya (5 million) in North Africa • Major languages: Arabic and Italian • No form of Christian witness to Libyans is permitted • 98% Muslim; 2% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for your adversaries (Ps. 109:4).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 16:26